Minor Victory as Lawsuit to Remove Mississippi Flag Dismissed
This February, a federal lawsuit against Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant was filed seeking to eliminate the nation’s last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem. The lawsuit was filed after House Speaker Philip Gunn las year became the first top-tier Republican to call for a change in the flag, which has had the Confederate symbol in the upper left corner since Reconstruction.
“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn, a leader in his local Baptist church, said in a statement. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”
Carlos Moore a 39-year-old African-American attorney from Grenada, Mississippi, said in his suit that the flag is “state-sanctioned hate speech” that makes him and other African-Americans fear for their lives. He asked the judge to remove the flag and declare it an unconstitutional relic of slavery.
Republican Bryant, who recently issued a proclamation naming April as Confederate Heritage Month, has said voters should decide whether to keep the flag used since 1894.
“This is a frivolous attempt to use the federal court system to usurp the will of the people,” Bryant spokesman Clay Chandler said Monday. “The governor hopes Attorney General Jim Hood will seek attorneys’ fees to reimburse taxpayers the cost of defending against this needless drain on state resources.”
In response to a vote put forth in a statewide election in 2001, Mississippi voters decided by a 2-to-1 margin to keep the flag that has the rebel emblem. Mississippi’s population is almost 38 percent black.
The lawsuit was filed less than a week after Mississippi legislators killed several bills that would have either removed the Confederate emblem from the flag or withheld state money from schools and local governments that refuse to fly the current banner.
Moore’s lawsuit claimed that the rebel flag “has been shown to incite racial violence and terror.” Naturally, like most whining, sniveling cowards that seek to destroy our heritage, he cited the South Carolina attack as proof.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, however; wasn’t convinced by this pathetic line of reasoning, and dismissed the case in a ruling Thursday, saying Carlos Moore had failed to show the Confederate battle emblem had caused a “cognizable legal injury.”
However, in dismissing the suit, Reeves also made several jabs against arguments made outside the courtroom by many flag supporters who say that Mississippi’s secession from the union before the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery.
Reeves quoted from the state’s 1861 secession declaration in order to try to prove his point, which said: “‘Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world.'” Then, the judge continued in his own words: “To put it plainly, Mississippi was so devoted to the subjugation of African-Americans that it sought to form a new nation predicated upon white supremacy.” “Moore’s arguments are phrased as constitutional claims, yet his allegations of physical injuries suggest that he is making an emotional distress tort claim,” Reeves wrote. “To succeed in constitutional litigation, however, Moore needs to identify that part of the Constitution which guarantees a legal right to be free from anxiety at State displays of historical racism. There is none.” In his ruling, Reeves, who is black, wrote: “The emblem offends more than just African-Americans. Mississippians of all creeds and colors regard it as ‘one of the most repulsive symbols of the past.’ It is difficult to imagine how a symbol borne of the South’s intention to maintain slavery can unite Mississippians in the 21st century.”
It becomes more clear every day, that our forefathers were prophets.
Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.
Mississippi has used the same flag since 1894. Its upper left corner has the Confederate battle emblem – a red field topped by a blue X dotted with 13 white stars. Voters had previously chosen to keep the banner in a 2001 referendum.
Moore hasn’t decided whether to appeal the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans, though with the statements of condemnation that this judge has made which I fear will ultimately do more harm than good to our cause, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he will. For now however, no matter how temporary; the flag and the heritage and culture that many descendants of Confederate soldiers cherish, will remain.
It is worth noting that Carlos Moore, as is typical of “reverse racists” employs ONLY African-Americans. See Moore Law Group profiles HERE.